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Program Policies for Faculty

This page presents policies relates to faculty.  Policies related to students can be found here.  You can also download the full policy document here.

CPB faculty are members of the Vanderbilt University Graduate Faculty who direct research and

educational programs related to the goals of the program. They should demonstrate excellent

mentorship of graduate students and participate in the program community.

Faculty are expected to be excellent advisors and mentors to their students, providing them with education and training in the relevant research techniques and approaches, research skills of successful scientists and professional behavior. Faculty should have ongoing discussions about the responsible conduct of research with their students, discussing both general principles and the specific application of these principles to their research area. They are expected to commit adequate time to mentoring their students and to place a high priority on the student’s professional development. When a research project is deemed complete, advisors are expected to contribute to a timely publication of the work. Advisors should set and communicate their expectations for students in advance, maintain appropriate mentor/mentee relationships, keep a professional demeanor during all interactions with the student, and practice other behaviors that lead to positive professional relationships and student growth and development. When conflict occurs, faculty are expected to participate actively and productively in the procedures for resolving these conflicts.

Faculty are responsible for the financial support of their students, including stipends, benefits, tuition

and fees, and research-related expenditures. To be admitted to the program, a commitment to provide funding for the student if the advisor loses the ability to support the student must be received from the faculty member’s primary department chair. After allowing for time off due to official leaves of absence, this commitment extends through the four-year post-QE statute of limitations, as defined by the Graduate School.

For the CPB program to be successful, it requires service and active participation on the part of its faculty. Advising a student in the CPB program comes with the commitment to support the program. and the student by attending the annual retreat, assisting with the graduate student recruitment process, and contributing in other ways to success  of the program. The latter may include participation on committees or contributions to CPB-specific classes.

It is recognized that there may exist scientific or other issues that interfere with the student’s progress or with the mentor-student relationship. The student may feel that their progress is being impeded in some way or is being unfairly evaluated, or that their intellectual contributions are not being fairly acknowledged. Before students have a thesis committee, the student should consult with the DGS and/or Program Director. Students who have already qualified should discuss scientific concerns with the chair of his/her dissertation advising committee. Other concerns may be brought directly to the DGS or the Program Director. Students are strongly encouraged to communicate any concerns while  problems are still in their early stages. If confidentiality is required, the student is advised to consult with the counseling personnel in the BRET office or the Psychological and Counseling Center. On certain occasions, changes in mentorship may be deemed necessary. Such changes should only occur after extended attempts at conflict resolution have occurred. If the qualification exam has already been passed, it does not need to be repeated but a new thesis committee will need to be formed. The committee will need to review and approve the student’s proposal for the completion of his/her thesis. When determining the scope of work required for completion of the degree, they may consider the student’s full body of work.

Students are encouraged to bring forward issues of sexual harassment or discrimination of any kind to the attention of the mentor, program leadership, or counseling staff. When brought to the attention of the program leadership or faculty, they are required to refer the student to the appropriate office on campus. Depending on the nature of the situation, this office may be the Title IX and Student Discrimination office, Student Access Services office, or the Equal Employment Opportunity office.